‘We lost a beautiful soul’: Minnesota zoo orangutan Amanda dies at 46

The Como Zoo announced the passing of its orangutan, Amanda, on Monday, Dec. 19.
The Como Zoo announced the passing of its orangutan, Amanda, on Monday, Dec. 19.(Jackie Scherer Photography)
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 2:30 PM PST
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC/Gray News) – A Minnesota zoo announced the passing of its female hybrid orangutan Monday.

Como Zoo, located in St. Paul, said the orangutan, Amanda, was euthanized at the age of 46 Saturday morning.

The zoo said Amanda was experiencing discomfort, lethargy, and a lack of appetite recently. Zoo staff and a team of specialists from the University of Minnesota set out to find the cause of Amanda’s health issues when they discovered a mass in her body that caused chronic damage to her kidneys.

The zoo authorities said the mass was determined to be difficult to remove, and Amanda’s prognosis for recovery and improvement was extremely poor.

The decision was made to humanely euthanize her, the zoo said.

According to Como Zoo, Amanda was adopted into their care from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas when she was three years old.

The zoo said Amanda was known for her intelligence, playful personality and love of painting and music.

KTTC reports Amanda was a favorite for generations of the zoo’s visitors.

Amanda also reportedly acted as an ambassador for orangutans in the wild and orangutan conservation.

“Amanda was curious, mischievous, engaging, and smart. We lost a beautiful soul”, Megan Elder, Como Zoo Primate Zookeeper, Orangutan Species Survival Coordinator, and International Orangutan Studbook Keeper said. “It’s crushing for me, my co-workers, and all that knew her, cared for her, and loved her. It’s no exaggeration to say she inspired generations. It’s hard to imagine Como without her.”

The mayor of St. Paul, Melvin Carter, officially declared Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, Amanda the Orangutan Day in her honor.